What is Crisis communications?
Crisis communications refers to the mediums, processes, and systems firms use during a time of crisis/emergency. A crisis itself can be defined as a critical and significant threat to a firm endangering not only its employees and customers but the very firm itself. These emergencies include but aren’t limited to arson, crime, PR conflicts, terrorism, reputation crisis, and product recall. In summary, a firm can suffer the following threats due to a crisis: 1) A threat to public safety 2) a threat to reputation damage and or loss and finally, 3) a financial loss.
The purpose of crisis communications is to ensure that there is a system in place should, the employees of a firm or firm representatives need a system where and a guideline on how to communicate during that specific time of crisis, it is similar to reputation management however focuses more on that of communication during the crisis.
This system is to ensure that the employees and relevant parties involved, can rectify the situation to minimize the damage done to the firm.
These systems are put in place to ensure that attending to a crisis can be done seamlessly and quickly. Crisis communication should be done in real-time, they should demonstrate good communication, which leaves room for little to no error, or confusion.
Communication in real-time also helps employees stay updated. Ensuring that all communication is relevant is vital in the employee’s response time. Firms generally pre-draft messages and ensure that there are proper communication channels set up in the event of a crisis.
How is this planned?
A crisis would call for a crisis management plan, which generally includes effective crisis communication as the plan directs all communication when a crisis erupts.
The knock-on effect of a crisis also calls for a crisis management team who handles the crisis management plan and ensures that there is effective communication. A spokesperson is also often needed to debrief everyone after the crisis.